Blue Bell Creameries will open a new $1.5 million, 40-employee distribution facility in Tampa, Fla., next month, allowing the Brenham, Texas-based ice cream maker to gain distribution into supermarkets in the Tampa Bay area.

Blue Bell Creameries will open a new $1.5 million, 40-employee distribution facility in Tampa, Fla., next month, allowing the Brenham, Texas-based ice cream maker to gain distribution into supermarkets in the Tampa Bay area. The company's Blue Bell ice cream has previously been offered to Florida consumers via the restaurant channel.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Foreign Agricultural Service will host a USA Food Pavilion, March 9-12, 2004 at the FoodEx Japan 2004 trade show in Tokyo. FoodEx is the largest food and beverage trade show in Asia and third largest in the world after SIAL in Paris and Anuga in Cologne.

David Hettinga, vice president and chief technical officer, of Land O'Lakes, Inc.'s Corporate Research, Technology and Engineering division is retiring this month after 20 years with the company. Hettinga joined Land O'Lakes in 1983 as vice president of Dairy Foods Research and Development. He was named vice president of Research, Technology and Engineering in 1986.

A report prepared for the Massachusetts supermarket industry warns that legislation designed to cap the retail price of milk is shortsighted, and could result in higher prices. The legislation requires state officials to investigate any retail milk price that exceeds 200% of the farm price, and determine whether it is excessive. At current prices, that threshold would be $2.96 a gallon. A consultant hired by industry groups says the legislation is based on a flawed analysis of the supply chain that underestimates the costs involved in getting milk from the farm to consumers.

The Pennsylvania Food Merchants Assn. says the number of bogus manufacturers' coupons circulating on the Internet is on the rise. According to the group, the phony coupons—produced or doctored on home computers—have forced grocery chains to reconsider coupon policies.